Sea turtles literally are reptiles in a shell, with a ancestry that dates back 130 million years. Little is know about their pelagic lives in the ocean depths where they hunt and live. Only the females ever come ashore to lay their eggs.
The beaches of Quintana Roo are among a dwindling number of beaches on our planet where endangered sea turtles crawl ashore to lay their eggs.
The beaches along the Caribbean Coast of Mexico are nesting grounds for two species of sea turtles: the Loggerhead and the Green sea turtle. Nesting season for these turtles is May through October. After mating at sea the female turtle swims to shore to dig a nest for her eggs. It is not unusual to see turtles nesting at night on the beaches of Akumal. If you should see a turtle at night please do not disturb or shine a flashlight on it as this may disrupt their reproductive cycle. Female turtles dig their nests on the beach with their flippers, then lay their eggs and cover them with sand. They then crawl back to the surf zone and swim out to sea. After 50 – 60 days the baby turtles hatch from the nests and try to make their way through the surf zone and out to sea.
Caution should be exercised when walking the nesting beaches in order to avoid trampling nests where eggs are incubating. Avoid stepping on mounds in the sand or anywhere that you see sticks with markers pushed into the sand. The Centro Ecologico Akumal (CEA) actively particpates in a sea turtle protection program. A restricted and watched hatchery area has been created to better protect some of the nests of eggs, thus producing a higher yeild upon hatching. To witness such an event is amazing, but if you happen to miss turtle season, CEA offers a slide presentation weekly on sea turtles. Addition printed material is also available about sea turtles.
Established in July of 1993, CEA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the ecologically sustainable development of the Cancun-Tulum corridor. CEA promotes conservation of the natural habitat and native culture through research and education.